The Dribbler: These picks are getting sweeter

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Hi. My name is The Dribbler and I have a chocolate problem.

Those were the words that came out of The Dribbler's mouth one year ago today as he sat in his first chocolate addicts anonymous meeting.

After years of making weekly stops at the candy store to feed his chocolate addiction and the times he bought excessive amounts of chocolate for his wife -- who is allergic to chocolate and won't eat it -- every Valentine's Day, the Dribbler said enough was enough.

Clean and sober, The Dribbler successfully kicked the habit and had moved on to much healthier foods such as fruits and vegetables.

That was until Saturday night.

While at Palumbo Center for the WPIAL championships, The Dribbler looked up into the stands and saw a student dressed up as a Snickers bar.

After seeing that, The Dribbler relapsed. Sadly, he was back at the candy store early Sunday morning.

And you know where he will be in two weeks? You guessed it. Hershey for the PIAA championships.

On the road to Hershey, The Dribbler has fallen off the wagon.

The Dribbler went 4-4 in his WPIAL championship picks, putting him at 24-12 (.666) in the playoffs and 91-47 (.659) on the season.

Here is his take on the best PIAA first-round playoff games.

Top boys games

Montour vs. South Fayette, 7:30 p.m. today, at North Allegheny -- This will be Montour's 11th PIAA playoff game since 2011. No team in the state has played more. The Spartans finished as Class AAA runner-up the past two seasons. After beating one Section 5 rival in the WPIAL final -- Chartiers Valley -- Montour takes on another. The teams split two regular-season meetings. Montour has won 14 games in a row. Winner: Montour.

Lincoln Park vs. Kennedy Catholic, 7 p.m. today, at Farrell -- Ten days after being upset by Clairton in the WPIAL semifinals, Lincoln Park begins its run toward making the PIAA Class A championship game for the third year in a row. Lincoln Park beat District 10 champion Kennedy Catholic at home by eight points in late January. Winner: Lincoln Park.

Seneca Valley vs. Erie Cathedral Prep, 7 p.m. Saturday, at General McLane -- When it comes to the "sixth man," The Dribbler hasn't seen many better than Cathedral Prep's. The Ramblers boast one of the top student sections in the state. Their team is excellent, too. Four players started on last season's PIAA Class AAAA semifinalist. Seneca Valley will be the first of the Section 3 powers to see their season end. Winner: Cathedral Prep.

Other top boys games

General McLane over Thomas Jefferson (7:30 p.m. today, at Edinboro University); New Castle over Gateway (3 p.m. Saturday, at North Allegheny); Hampton over Perry (3 p.m. Saturday, at Allderdice); West Middlesex over Jeannette (7:30 p.m. Saturday, at Slippery Rock University).

Top girls games

Bethel Park vs. Mt. Lebanon, 6 p.m. today, at Baldwin -- The Dribbler thinks this rubber match will be one of the most competitive games of the first round. Bethel Park just won its first WPIAL title, while Mt. Lebanon was ousted in the semifinals. March is Mt. Lebanon's favorite month of the year. The Blue Devils have won three of the past four PIAA Class AAAA championships and have made the quarterfinals five years in a row. Winner: Mt. Lebanon.

Seton-LaSalle vs. Kane, 6 p.m. today, at North Allegheny -- One of The Dribbler's favorite movies is Menace II Society. In it, the central character, Caine, found himself in the wrong place at the wrong time at the end of the film. This Kane is in a similar position. Seton-LaSalle was surprisingly defeated by Bishop Canevin in the WPIAL Class AA title game, but look for the defending PIAA champion Rebels to make a statement against Kane. Winner: Seton-LaSalle.

Hopewell vs. Villa Maria Academy, 4:30 p.m. Saturday, at North Allegheny -- Villa Maria's nickname is the Victors. For good reason, too. The Victors have one of the state's premier programs. They won three consecutive PIAA Class AA titles from 2009-11 and made the semifinals last season. Now in Class AAA, they'll try to make this the final game of Shatori Walker- Kimbrough's outstanding high school career. Winner: Villa Maria Academy.

Other top girls games

Bishop Canevin over Westmont Hilltop (6 p.m. today, at North Hills); Blackhawk over Bradford (6:30 p.m. Saturday, at Pitt-Bradford); Elizabeth Forward over Central Valley (3 p.m. Saturday, at Baldwin); Kennedy Catholic over North Catholic (3 p.m. Saturday, at Slippery Rock University).

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